Representatives Dold and Blumenauer Send Letter to House Leadership on Senate Transportation Bill

From the office of Rep. Robert Dold (Ill., 10th District)…

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, United States Representatives Robert Dold (R-IL-10), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Charles Bass (R-NH-2), Mike Quigley (D-IL-5), and Judy Biggert (R-IL-13) sent a bipartisan letter to House leadership urging them to consider the two-year Senate Transportation bill as an alternative to an open-ended short term extension.

“With funding for transportation and infrastructure projects expiring at the end of the week, it is critical that we act as soon as possible to provide certainty in the transportation and infrastructure sector that employs so many Americans,” said Dold. “I firmly believe transportation is a bipartisan priority that extends beyond partisan politics- that is why I am urging the House to consider the bipartisan Senate bill if it cannot bring a viable longer-term bill to the House floor by the March 31 expiration. We must reach a bipartisan consensus now to ensure that local transportation agencies can better plan for the future, and so that these important projects and jobs can continue.”

Background Information:

Rep. Dold has been outspoken about the importance of improving the House Transportation bill and has been speaking with several local stakeholders to ensure that the final long-term Transportation bill is bipartisan and takes into account the needs of the Chicagoland region. Below is the text of the letter that Reps. Dold and Blumenauer spearheaded.

Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, Minority Leader Pelosi, and Minority Whip Hoyer:

As you know, providing authorization for transportation and infrastructure projects is a core function of the government. With the current transportation bill set to expire on March 31, 2012, we write to emphasize the importance of the House taking action to immediately provide some certainty in the transportation sector.

The last major transportation bill expired September 30, 2009, and since then Congress has been unable to put in place a long-term reauthorization of the Surface Transportation bill. This lack of certainty has hampered state transportation departments’ ability to commit to long-term transportation projects, which has impeded the ability of local governments to adequately plan for their community’s transportation needs. Additionally, this has increased instability within the construction industry.

The Senate recently passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, known commonly as MAP-21. While by no means perfect, this legislation passed unanimously out of committee, and received significant bipartisan support on the Senate floor with 74 votes. While we believe that a longer term bill is ideal, the Senate bill would provide the transportation stakeholder community with two years of certain funding and policies that will allow state Departments of Transportation and other transportation agencies to embark on the work necessary to keep American goods and people moving. Providing this certainty as soon as possible is particularly important in colder weather climates, where the construction season is short and just beginning for 2012.

With no indication that an alternate longer-term bill will be brought to the House floor by March 31, 2012, we urge the House to reconcile any potential blue slip procedural issues and take up the House-version of S. 1813, the Mobility, Access and Progress for the 21st century. Transportation is a priority for all Americans. Our constituents deserve to see Congress act swiftly and in a bipartisan way on this important issue.


Robert J. Dold
Member of Congress

Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress

Charles F. Bass
Member of Congress

Mike Quigley
Member of Congress

Judy Biggert
Member of Congress

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